Words Matter

If a doctor tells a family their child’s brain may never develop past the infant stage, that family’s life could be dictated by that statement. But, if the same professional said “we don’t know if he can recognize you, we don’t know if he understands language. But he might.

It’s not false hope – it’s acknowledging the humanity of the patient.

What’s the disconnect?

Dignity: A fundamental belief in the humanity of a differently-abled person.

Always Assume Intelligence. You risk nothing and you could be bestowing the most precious gift a human can give another human.The gift of Dignity.

We are often asked “Why horses?”

I’ve wrested with whether my fascination with all things equine, the fascination I was supposed to grow out of – perhaps I’m foisting on our families in hopes of a miracle?

I’m a skeptic. I pour over journals for evidence-based studies on why horses elicit positive outcomes. I often toss anecdotes aside and look for charts and graphs on things like behavior reduction, oxytocin production, reduced aggressiveness and more.

Here’s the thing, a horse never sees “potential” in anyone. She sees you for exactly who you are and she offers you the Dignity of that. The Dignity to be scared, to be dis-regulated, to be curious, kind, or excited. The Dignity to be you.

A horse can’t project a notion of who you should, might or can be.

As herd animals, a horse’s survival depends on the ability to size you up and understand your role. Biologically, they understand children are vital and they react with some measure of protective care or a gentle nudge demanding independence. It’s not anthropomorphizing – it’s survival.

The moment another being looks at you and sees you for exactly who you are is the moment you start to blossom.

How much would you pay for a therapist who could accurately assess you in 30 seconds or less?

What’s our crazy idea to change the world?

We change the words. We lead by example – putting Dignity first – because every one of us at some point needs support and all of us deserve community. With our feet pointed toward Dignity, we may stumble and sometimes, we will fail – but change will come.

I imagine a world where “Always Assume Intelligence” will be the norm – not the exception. Dignity for everyone won’t be remarkable. The lives of families change profoundly and opportunities for everyone to realize human potential occur.

Challenge the words. It’s how we move forward.

The Revolution of Kindness marches on.

The Company We Keep


The people I call friends and colleagues are some of my most treasured gifts.

The privilege to be able to call on the collective wisdom and care of this rich bevy of humans is something I’m not ever going to be worthy of – but I can be grateful. 

Last year, I sat on a plane and crossed the Atlantic with my father on one side of me and my husband on the other.  We’d spent a week together discovering Ireland. My heart was full from the sights, the sounds, the faces of Ireland, and my mind was on fire.

I opened my journal on the runway and my pen started moving.  A realization was firming up in my head and it was big.

Before landing back home, I’d discovered a terrifying truth that I would have to sit with.

“Every single utopian, pie-in-the-sky dream I had for Square Peg was not just possible, it was already being done – and done beautifully. The folks that were doing it were ready, willing and able  to help me make it a reality in the States.”

This means that there would be no more hiding behind the veil of “that’s nice, but impossible.”  It means, “not only is this possible – but your ideas are vital, effective and necessary. 

I’ll illustrate. 

What if you put someone with a severe anxiety condition, with obsessive or destructive behaviors  that render him otherwise unemployable and very high needs into a space of natural beauty and imbued that living space with a sense of freedom rather than in a restrictive, sterile “safe” space and suddenly, the personhood and dignity of that individual blooms and he is able to find meaningful ways to contribute to his community?  Sounds nice of course but what if you can prove that this saves the community funds, time and efforts while helping this person to achieve a sense of worth and use?

This is exactly what my friend David Doyle is doing in County Cork Ireland.  He knew he was right.  He’s a parent of a child that the rest of the world had written off as dangerous, disabled and vastly limited. He and his wife did not accept defeat for their daughter. He’s the administrator of municipal funds and knows exactly what the government is spending to sequester people like his daughter. He’s a horseman of the first order and knows the value of bringing  animals and a peaceful farm program together to create family memories. 

There’s more.

What if we look at all the studies for parent respite and understand the value of a family being able to recreate together to create healthier families and communities? The barrier is that it’s almost impossible to find qualified respite workers, homes and opportunities.  Well, if you are David Doyle, you rent an entire resort and bring 165 families on a vacation. I didn’t stutter – I said 165 FAMILIES!  He provided horses, swimming, all of the recreation you would find for “normal” families and he added two true Irish style pubs for the families to gather and sing and share in total understanding and acceptance. And guess what?  It was transformative. 

I’ll need to chew on that.

Not all heroes wear capes. 

Liskennet Equestrian Center, County Cork Ireland

I gotta get back to work. 

.

Intro to Horse Boy Method Workshop June 14 &15 Cadence Farm, Sonoma CA


For  years Rupert and Rowan shared the saddle together on a horse named Betsy. The story of  Rowan opening  to the outside world through Betsy is told in the bestselling book and award winning film “The Horse Boy“.

With Rowan’s success,  Rupert started working with other children on the spectrum to see if what  worked with Rowan and Betsy would  work for them. While no method can ever be right for 100% of people  Rupert found a sufficiently high percentage of children benefited-sometimes  in astonishing ways.
The framework of techniques targets different  challenges.  Horse Boy™ and Movement Method are now being used worldwide. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity!

Who should attend this clinic?

Important note: This workshop is hands on and intense.  We cannot have you bring your child to the workshop.  It is our organizational ethic that when a child is here – especially one that needs some support – we focus all our energy on the child.  This workshop is to give you tools to help support those you love and care about – so this is our chance to focus on you. 

Training Overview 

• Introduction to Autism
• What our methods are. Why they are different?
• Necessary Equipment
• Sensory session with horses
• Collection – what it is and why it matters

• Intro to Back-riding training
• How to create the right environment for Horse Boy Method
• How to cope with children unwilling or afraid to ride
• Long-lines (working with young adults too large to back-ride)
• Rule based games / Perspective taking
• Academics on horseback: how to use the dressage arena and round pen for math, biology, geography and more!
• How to work with the entire family
• Basic trick work. Learning the aids, and demo of how tricks are used for communication

When: June 15 and 15, 2019 10am to 3pm

Where: Cadence Farm, Meadowlark Way, Sonoma,CA. (Just off Hwy 121)

CostRiders $675  Non Riders: $340. UPDATE: We’ve been approved to offer the following discount: $495 for Riders and $325 for non riders

Space is limited! use PayPal link below to secure your space.  If you prefer to pay by check, email joell@squarepegfoundation.org to reserve your spot.

Riding or Non-Riding
Rider $495.00 USDNon-rider $300.00 USD

Respect the Struggles, Honor the Strengths – The True Nature of Teaching

“Sit well Joell”

Heeding these words, – a difficult move suddenly becomes easy and I feel elegant, organized and – able

There were no technical fixes in the instruction – more importantly, there is an assumption that my teacher assumes  I am capable.

She could have said:

“Don’t slouch”

“You are collapsing in your ribcage again”.

“You are sitting like an old lady”

….and all of these things would have been true and each of these things has been said to me before.  But instead she said;

“Sit well.”

And I did.

Consequently, I was successful. 

This makes me think about the true spirt of teaching and the nature of real support. 

I read a fascinating statement about the labels “high functioning” and “low functioning” as it relates to autism. 

“A high functioning label means that your struggles are ignored and and a low functioning label means that your strengths are ignored.”

Anyone in the autism field knows this reality and  the real work lies in finding real solutions.

“Sit well.”

Real support honors the struggles and the strengths of the learner and lets the learner develop a context for figuring things out and succeeding or failing the way to new discoveries. 

For example – a young man dearly wants social connection.  He wants peers and real friends. How would I best support him in developing this critical skill and very human need?

By honoring both his strengths and his struggles.

First and most important – I presume competence.  I need to have a clear picture in my mind of him being successful.  No pity – no doubts – just believing  he is capable.  This transfers to everything I might say or do, every phrase I choose and every gesture I make.   Next, I model friendship in every exchange we have.  He sees me being friendly, making and keeping friends.  And  we talk about the effort it takes because he might presume this is easy for me and impossible for him.

Then we find real connections for him with people who share his interests. 

In a nutshell, what we learned in  kindergarten turns out to be golden:

“If you want a good friend – be a good friend.”

Can it be that simple?

The other option – the one that doesn’t work is  to neither respect his struggles nor appreciate his strengths.  It looks like this:

“You never make eye contact and you need to learn  in order to make friends”

“You must say ‘hello’”

“Try to smile more – people like that.”

Once again, all of these things are true – and yet each statement illustrates that I don’t believe that he’s capable  and I don’t appreciate his unique struggles and I’m not interested in what he’s interested in. 

“Sit well Joell.”

We are deeply grateful to the horsemastership mentorship of Sofia Valenca and Goncalo Linhas of Lisbon Portugal.  Not only for your depth of horsemanship knowledge you so generously share, but more importantly, your faith in us and in our horses that we are elegant, capable and able. 

Here’s to great teachers – may we find them, treasure then and strive to be them. 

#TeamQuirky

I Could Be Wrong But…

The young woman throws her assistive talking device over her shoulder and marches directly to the shack where we keep the helmets, boots, games and – my favorite – hundreds of books.

Camille Corot – Reverie – 1864-65

From the moment we started Square Peg, I dreamed of having a room full of books with an honor system of borrowing.  No check out, no due dates – just bring a book or take home 10.  No worries.

Today, the shelves are bursting with colorful children’s stories, dusty outdated boxes of horse care texts, trashy adult novels and scores of self help books.

The young woman’s parents and I exchange “uh oh” looks at each other.  None of us were fast enough to re-direct her march to the shack.  We’d all hoped it was going to be a good riding day.  The sun was out, the horse was willing, the trails called for a calming ride.  We hoped it was one of those magical days with smiles and exhales and bowel regulation for this non-verbal young woman who is so often anxious and agitated.

But alas, she’s in the shack and she’s grabbing books from the shelves and throwing them onto the floor. She’s working faster and faster to grab and throw.  Occasionally, she opens a book and begins to rip out the pages.

It’s distressing for the family and I have to admit that it hurts my heart to see a book rendered mostly useless after this rough treatment. But I remind myself that we have literally hundreds of books

I sit on the floor with her and open a story and I begin to read it to her.  She takes it out of my hand and throws it onto the floor.  She’s winding up to what we worry will be a mania that ends in crying and possibly some level of frustrated self harm. 

The horse and the volunteer are waiting and we bring his patient self over to the shack and induce him to place his curious face in the doorway hoping it will delight her and cause her to choose an activity we are uniquely qualified to deliver.  She pauses, looks at the horse for the briefest of moments and resumes what looks like random grabbing and throwing of books. 

The horse, unlike me, has no agenda and is not offended.  He happily drops his head and looks for grass to munch.  

I urge myself to take a clue from our horse and drop my agenda too. Something deep in my gut tells me to stay with this young woman and watch.

Watch.  She’s telling us something.

Or is she just winding up to a meltdown that will leave her and her parents exhausted?

Watch Joell.  Just stay.  Hold space.  Breathe.

Soon, I’m not watching, my brain is wandering.  I’m reviewing all the things that need doing – all the triage of my day.  And then I beat myself up for that.

Watch. Stay. I have to force myself not to look at my watch.  Stay.  Watch.

More. books fly off the shelf onto the floor. She’s gasping for breath and clearly frustrated and I’m no closer to understanding than I was before.

Finally, the parents need to go.  Another family is arriving and we begin the painful process of extricating this young woman from the shack and the giant pile of thrown books.  Dad picks her up – no small feat as she’s no longer a little girl. Her eye catches a closed cardboard box up high on a shelf – she needs to see what’s inside.  I know that it’s a dusty box of horse care books and veterinary manuals – not children’s reading.  But she HAS TO KNOW what’s inside – which also means more books thrown onto the floor that I will need to pick up and re-shelve.

I’m human.  I’m tired.  So is dad and I reason with her that “it’s nothing you want.” but that’s not going to work and so I jump in the air and grab the dusty box and, as predicted, they are summarily taken out and thrown on the floor with the hundreds of others.

Feeling like a failure, I watch dad manage his now disregulated daughter toe-walking down the hill to the parking lot.  She’s angry and frustrated and I’m trying to think of the role I played in that.  

Later that night, I crawl into bed and crack open the novel I’m reading.  I’m eager to throw off the day and settle into a story of another land, another time and place, another point of view. 

Then it hits me. 

That’s what this young woman was looking for.  Stories give her the same pleasure they give me.  She likes familiar stories – ones she knows what happens next – characters she is familiar with.  She’s seeking that same deep pleasure that I, a lifetime reader crave.

She was just looking for a familiar book!  A particular book that would soothe her and delight her – the same way a great story delights me.

Not finding that story was the cause of the panic.  Looking desperately for a ticket away from the cacophony of a life of a sensory sensitive person who is also in the throes of puberty is as natural as sunshine – as “right as rain.”

We all seek pleasure, relief, solace. All she wanted was the book that would bring her these three things.

Wait. Watch. Breathe. 

#FollowTheChild

Forgiveness…..No Matter What

“Do you know what my favorite thing about horses is?”

The boy paused and listened.  I went on-

“My favorite thing about horses is that they always forgive me – no matter what.”

The boy thought and his hands relaxed, his breathing changed and he began to stroke the horse.  He leaned into the horse and hugged him and the horse (as you can see) hugged him back.

This horse, the son of Afleet Alex is not yet a therapy horse.  He is what you might call “a trainer’s horse.”  That means he’s tricky, hot, brilliant.  He’s also got one eye.  He’s not known to be calm or indulgent or even particularly trusting.

The child is similar. He’s brilliant, often violent and oh so tricky.  He’s got a medical and a psychiatric record that baffles the experts at Stanford University. 

The child arrived at the ranch in a frenzy of mixed emotions that manifested in a belief that there were bad people out there trying to hurt him or kidnap him and that he needed to fight and fight hard to be safe. One moment he was cussing and throwing things and the next, he was overcome with tears.  

Even for us – with 15 years experience in this field – it was going to be a rocky day at best. 

I’d taken the boy on a hike up the mountain.  We talked and we played with different surfaces to drum on.  The drumming always helps him.  Drumming has helped regulate humans since we discovered fire.  

Once back to the barn, the boy began to struggle again and he decided to take it out on my one eyed and brilliant horse.  

He’s done this before – he often approaches the horse on his blind side and slaps him on his cheek below the missing eye – not to hurt him but to surprise him .  He laughs cruelly when the horse jumps back in surprise.  Sometimes, as he was doing today, he jumps aggressively toward the horse yelling and watching for the horse’s fearful response.

Any first year psychology student will be able to tell that this is a child who feels threatened and disempowered and is just looking for a moment when it’s HIM that has the power to intimidate and HIM that has the power to create fear.  It’s heartbreaking if you think about it – but this child’s life – despite the most amazing parents who will go to the ends of the earth for their child – his neurology is such that he’s very often in a terrified and fearful headspace.  

I’ve consulted with the experts and sorted through my own skills to think of a way to get this particular behavior to ameliorate. 

As a behaviorist – one tactic is to ignore the behavior.  Clearly this is a behavior that always gets attention from everyone around. I’ve tried having a conversation with the child “What’s going on buddy?  Why would you be so mean to a horse that has never been mean to you?”  I’ve tried re-directing, modeling gentle behavior, rewarding him any time he’s kind to any animal. But here we were again and let’s face it – as a horseman, it’s torturous to watch your horse be punished and for no reason.

So I thought about the root of the problem – about not feeling in control, or heard, or seen. About needing to understand that others also feel fear.

I thought about all of our organizational precepts – about the human environment, about self advocacy – about what real compassion feels like and about the difference between tolerance and acceptance. 

And that’s when I said:

“Do you know what my favorite thing about horses is?”

The boy paused and listened.  I went on –

“My favorite thing about horses is that they always forgive me – no matter what.”

The boy thought and his hands relaxed, his breathing changed and he began to stroke the horse.  He leaned into the horse and hugged him and as you can see in the photo the horse hugged him back.

And then the greatest gift.  He turned and looked up at the horse and said –

“You know what Joell?  This horse reminds me of my mom.  She always forgives me too.”

Shut Up – Sass in the City

I got up early, cleaned the stalls,  fed the horses. I pet the dog, kissed my husband and flew across the US. I arrived at midnight and hopped a cab to a funky rented bedroom hosted by a kind stranger. The next morning, I put on warm clothes and hiked a mile or so through an unfamiliar city.  I descended three floors down into a basement of a high-rise. In my backpack was my presentation – my 25 minutes of the best I had to offer.

I’d worked hard on the presentation. I’d stretched myself to contact folks way above my pay grade. I’d paced and lost sleep – because it had to be good.

I promised myself I’d be prepared – as an honor to an academic audience – I prepared answers to extremely hard questions and I’d thought of how to deliver the complex but direct answers with humor and humanity. 

I brought my “A” game. 

Once there – I forged through the technology hiccups, I flexed with grace when they changed the time we would present.  

I tried not to walk out of an earlier presentation. But I had to go – because I’ve been there before in a presentation where the people delivering services treat their charges as less than.  Where people are so busy building logical systems to create resilience and independence for people with disabilities – and they forgot that none of us need more independence – what we need – what we crave – what we are suffering from is a lack of interdependence

When my time came – I honored those who were doing the work – I pointed out the strengths and the humanity of my co-presenter I summoned up all the west coast charm I could muster.

Half way in – I was told I was out of time. I tried to make a joke of it and was met with a blank stare from the young woman who had been managing the fits and starts of event day since early that morning. What she needed was for something to go on schedule as planned. She wasn’t interested in me getting to my point. She didn’t care that most of the people were leaning in – laughing and nodding their heads. 

Anyway, why should she? She was doing her job – getting things moving with an adjusted schedule – attending to needs of others.

But I had something to say.

Being raised to be a good girl – I rushed as quickly as I could – I skipped the meat  of my presentation in an effort to meet her adjusted time schedule – and I sold myself short.

And I sold my audience short.

And I missed the chance to advocate fiercely for the people that we are all supposed to be serving. 

The good news is that – as per usual – I’m being too hard on myself. People stayed afterward to talk. They cried and hugged me for the message. They pressed business cards into my hand – they asked my advice.  Clearly this is how I best serve the cause? 

But I’m learning.  I learned about civil disobedience and that nobody should be able to rush us when our message is about relieving suffering. Nobody’s schedule is more precious than somebody’s humanity and the message that we MUST change the systems that are creating suffering. 

I promise to do more. 

It’s funny – last year, I was asked to present at the Aspen Brain Lab.  I worked hard on the presentation and then the organizer chose (wisely) to ask someone else – someone local – to do the presentation.  Frustrated, I took my presentation and made it into a video.  That video has been seen all over the world and by many, many more folks than would have been at the Aspen Brain Lab. 


I will do the same with this presentation. Watch out – this is going to be good…..

Go #TeamQuirky. 


Intro to Horse Boy Method Workshop April 1&2

For  years Rupert and Rowan shared the saddle together on a horse named Betsy. The story of  Rowan opening  to the outside world through Betsy is told in the bestselling book and award winning film “The Horse Boy“.

With Rowan’s success,  Rupert started working with other children on the spectrum to see if what  worked with Rowan and Betsy would  work for them. While no method can ever be right for 100% of people  Rupert found a sufficiently high percentage of children benefited-sometimes  in astonishing ways.
The framework of techniques targets different  challenges.  Horse Boy™ and Movement Method are now being used worldwide. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity!

Who should attend this clinic?

Important note: This workshop is hands on and intense.  We cannot have you bring your child to the workshop.  It is our organizational ethic that when a child is here – especially one that needs some support – we focus all our energy on the child.  This workshop is to give you tools to help support those you love and care about – so this is our chance to focus on you

Training Overview 

• Introduction to Autism
• What our methods are. Why they are different?
• Necessary Equipment
• Sensory session with horses
• Collection – what it is and why it matters

• Intro to Back-riding training
• How to create the right environment for Horse Boy Method
• How to cope with children unwilling or afraid to ride
• Long-lines (working with young adults too large to back-ride)
• Rule based games / Perspective taking
• Academics on horseback: how to use the dressage arena and round pen for math, biology, geography and more!
• How to work with the entire family
• Basic trick work. Learning the aids, and demo of how tricks are used for communication

When: April 1&2, 2019 10am to 3pm

Where: Green Acres –  300 16th Street, Montara, CA

Cost: Riders $675  Non Riders: $340. UPDATE: We’ve been approved to offer the following discount: $495 for Riders and $325 for non riders

Space is limited! use PayPal link below to secure your space.  If you prefer to pay by check, email joell@squarepegfoundation.org to reserve your spot.

If you are traveling – the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel has rooms available – it’s a walking distance to the training and a world class view!

Riding or Non-Riding



Take My Horse or Else…….. 52 FREE Thoroughbreds

These are actual things I hear regularly:

“If you don’t take my horse, I have to put him to sleep.”

“I can’t afford a horse I can’t jump/play polo on/race etc.” 

“This horse is costing me a fortune and I can’t afford it anymore.” 

“Aren’t you a non-profit?  Then that means you HAVE to take him.”

“It sure would be nice to be on the payroll of some non-profit that gets free horses all the time.”

I try.  I really try not to be rude or angry.  I don’t want anyone to come to me and leave feeling like they weren’t heard and that they don’t have options. People are fundamentally good. So I try to listen and I try to offer alternative solutions.  One woman was telling me that she can’t afford a lame horse.  She said she’d already spent a lot of money for fancy shoes on the horse and now he’s just barefoot.  

“But if what you are telling me is correct -he needs some support.”  I offered.

“Yeah, but he’s not working so he’s fine.”

“If he was not lame – would he be worth it?”  

“He’s never going to be able to jump so no.”

Exhale. 

I look out the window – it’s supposed to be my one day off. I’m spending it doing paperwork and that’s fine.  I look out the window and one of our staff is working with a horse in the round pen.  He needs support, physically and mentally.  He’s not a horse we could re-home.  But he’s down there and he’s trying to learn new things.  He gets worried and she re-assures him.  She pets him and I watch him lean into her.  He’s a good boy. 

I’m sure this other horse is also a good boy.

It sucks to have to say no.  Recognizing that there is only so much space, time and resources to properly care for the ones you have.  Knowing that even then, there will be chores left undone at the end of the day because time and limited resources won’t allow it. 

I’m not particularly complaining.  I have a brilliant life.  I’ve surrounded myself with animals and humans that inspire me to be kinder and harder working every day.  We searched for and competed for and nurtured donors who believe in what we do. We opened our hearts, our account books and our lives to serve those we choose to serve and it’s good. 

But that doesn’t mean that when I get off the phone with the “take my horse or else” folks that my heart isn’t heavy and I feel like I haven’t done enough.  I can’t help but picture the horse in question and what his alternatives might be. 

So here’s what your local horse rescuers want you to know:

A horse is a responsibility – an expensive one.  If you aren’t taking care of him – someone else has to pay for him;  feed, farrier, vet, bedding, staff to care for him, fencing, blankets, supplies and just the time to attend to the needs of a large animal in an enclosed space.  So *donating your horse is not a gift – it’s a giant, expensive responsibility.  He might live to be 35 years old – and those last seven or eight years he is going to need a lot of support and medicine and special feed. The vet who has been working with the rescue is almost certainly working at cost or less and he’s also attached to the horse. Someone like me and the kindhearted vet  is going to be there with this horse crying on the day he dies and someone will have to come up with hundreds of dollars in cash to render his giant body.  

Nobody wants to tell you no.  It gives us no pleasure.  The good rescues and sanctuaries are almost always full.  If someone is super eager to take your *FREE horse – be careful – there is a few hundred bucks in it for the kill buyer. 

And yes – the 52 FREE Thoroughbreds is an old post from 2011 so please don’t send it around social media – please – I know you are just trying to help.

2018 – A Year to Remember

Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted – The Buddha.”

For Square Peg, 2018 was a year of unprecedented growth.

In July, we officially opened Square Peg at Cadence Farm in Sonoma, CA.  Our own Becca Knopf is at the helm of Square Peg in Cadence Farms making new alliances, bringing in new families and volunteers, training up the horses and bringing that special #TeamQuirky vibe to the California Wine country.

We forged new relationships in our quest to achieve ABA therapy objectives by leading with compassion and support.  The results are in – our clients hit all of their milestones well ahead of schedule.  Helping us prove that compassion, environment, movement and support and intrinsic motivation – rather than rigid and undignified methods are what make real change.

We said goodbye to Bert – our beautiful Dutch gelding who served families at Square Peg for 11 years and Thair, our beautiful Walker Hound who lived his 17 years on earth with grace and sweetness.  We miss them both dearly.

We partnered with Liskennett Farm in County Cork, Ireland to share ideas on how to improve services for families and how to replicate our programs to have greater impact – and we partnered with Farm de Lek in Thailand to bring HorseBoy Method to Asia.  We were able to present what is special about Square Peg in Germany, in Louisville Kentucky and we visited our mentors in Lisbon, Portugal to deepen our understanding of Classical Horsemanship Principles.

Truth is, I’ve personally logged more airline miles in 2018 than in the last 20 years of my life combined – and all of it was in the spirit of sharing and mutually improving our services to support autism families and for Off Track Thoroughbreds the world over.

I no longer feel like I’m shouting into the wilderness.  I feel connected and supported myself and further challenged to know that every wild dream the Darius and I have ever had for Square Peg is not only possible, but that beautiful and kind people have already paved the way and are willing to help us make these things come true.

I could wax on and on for pages – but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then here is a 1:30 video to tell the story of a very important year.

We need your support to continue to grow and connect and serve.

We PROMISE to make you proud to be a Square Peg supporter.

Please donate today.

In gratitude,

Joell &

#TeamQuirky